𝗪𝗜𝗧𝗦𝗔 𝗪𝗘𝗕𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗥: 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝘂𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗪𝗧𝗢 𝗱𝗶𝗴𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝗴𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁’𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗶𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝘆 (𝗔𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗹 𝟴 @𝟵:𝟬𝟬𝗔𝗠 𝗘𝗗𝗧)
Join us for an update on the WTO digital trade negotiations at 9:00AM EDT on Friday, April 8th, featuring Nick Ashton-Hart, the Geneva Representative of the Digital Trade Network (DTN)! WITSA is working closely with our partners in the DTN to encourage a comprehensive and positive outcome at the WTO Geneva-based e-commerce (JSI) negotiations. To that effect, you will recall that WITSA published a policy statement in support of digital trade rules for innovation and sustainable trade rules (https://witsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/WITSA_Trade_05_May_2021.pdf).
The use of digital commerce has demonstrated a meteoric rise over the past few decades. It was heightened by the rapid uptake and use of digital commerce for both business and social purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this time, regulations governing e-commerce trade have generally not kept up nor been uniform between countries – and as a result, the impacts have been immediate, unevenly spread and been disruptive to both trade and investment. The pandemic in particular highlighted the divide in countries’ ability to take up e-commerce opportunities, due to disparities in internet access and connectivity as well as key digital skills gaps. Unsurprisingly, developed, high income economies was where the e-commerce adoption was greatest. The JSI aims to level the playing field by agreeing a set of common rules across a range of electronic commerce issues including: enabling electronic commerce; promoting openness and trust in e-commerce; cross-cutting issues; telecommunications and market access for e-commerce firms.
WITSA and DTN encourages the ongoing efforts at the WTO to negotiate a new comprehensive e-commerce agreement, and the Joint Statement Initiative on E-Commerce (JSI) presents a critical opportunity for the global trade body to prove its relevance in the current political environment and could lead to broader WTO reforms as well. WITSA is concerned about the very real risk that the significant achievements in multilateral trade liberalization since 1948 might begin to erode, as nations become introspective and protective in the face of global financial and economic challenges. This is a serious and complex issue for the global business community, affecting not just the future of multilateral negotiations, but – equally important – the future of global trade rule making and dispute settlement.
The event will take place on Friday, April 8th at 9:30AM EDT (time-zone conversions]: Please connect through our GBX platform https://witsa.fxvep.com/b2bmeeting/member/video-detail/14 (please see attached guidelines to set up a free GBX account if you don’t already have one!). if you have any difficulty, you can connect directly at: https://meet.goto.com/608015133)